Games I Played In 2016

I kept a log of all the games I managed to play during the calendar year of 2016. I played some a little. I played others a lot. Here are some brief notes about each.

I played most of these games via Steam, often on Windows but sometimes on Linux. There are a few Android games in here; I’m not very fond of mobile gaming. Also, there are a few Xbox (original) games mixed in as well since I had a brief period of trying out a bunch of random Xbox games I have laying around using one of the old Xbox consoles I have accumulated.

  1. XCOM: I started off the year with something familiar. At the start of the year, this was the most-played game in my Steam library (at around 100 hours).
  2. Double Dragon Neon: I was an expert at Double Dragon 1, 2, and 3 on the original NES. I really enjoy this game since it’s a love letter not only to the original series but also to 1980s kitsch with the camp level turned up to 11. It’s especially a joy to listen to. Every power-up has an accompanying theme song which is a pastiche of some popular song from the 1980s. However, I’m not as good at action games as I used to be. So I can’t get very far in this game.
  3. Westerado: Double Barreled: Novel little pixel-art Western-themed adventure game from Adult Swim. I haven’t gotten too far on this, but I would like to get back to it sometime.
  4. Tembo The Badass Elephant: Crazy action game where you play a mean, rampaging elephant. Another game that highlights how poor I am at action games these days.
  5. WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos: I liked playing StarCraft II and so I wanted to try some earlier Blizzard RTS games. I had procured the WarCraft III Battle Chest bundle quite some time ago but I could never make it work right on Windows 7 installations (the FMV wouldn’t play which left me a bit confused). But since I built a proper Windows XP system this past year, I got to try this game after all. So far, it has left me a bit bored.
  6. Ultra Street Fighter IV: It seems that I often kick off a Steam gaming session by playing a few matches with the 50+ fighters in this game. As many times as I have played this, I haven’t racked up a lot of hours since I just can’t take too much of it in one sitting.
  7. GemCraft – Chasing Shadows: A tower defense game that apparently started life as a web browser game. Despite my love of TD games, I haven’t gotten too far into this. I remember that the most weirdly intimidating factor when I started this game was realizing that there were more than 400 achievements.
  8. Undertale: One of the biggest recent indie darlings. I did my duty and bought it but I just couldn’t get into it.
  9. Space Run: One of my most played tower defense-type games. I also classify this game as ‘completed’ since I have earned 100% of the associated Steam achievements, a personal first.
  10. SimCity 4: I wanted to try a proper city building game and dusted off this disk for my WinXP machine. I couldn’t get into it.
  11. Defense Grid: The Awakening: I played this tower defense game a lot prior to 2016. I thought I had mostly finished it but then I booted it up during 2016 and realized that there were still numerous missions I hadn’t finished (when you buy the full bundle, this game comes with a huge pile of DLC). This is now the most played game in my Steam library and I’ll likely keep revisiting this from time to time as I shoot for all the achievements.
  12. Defense Grid 2: I 100%’d this game, at least for all the single-player achievements. It’s a much shorter experience than the original game since there isn’t any additional DLC. This sequel provides a much more streamlined experience than the first game.
  13. Game of Thrones Telltale game: Being a fan of the HBO show, and after playing through Telltale’s The Wolf Among Us, this seemed like a good candidate to play. It’s mostly like watching a Game of Thrones spin-off TV series, and that’s okay.
  14. Cities: Skylines: I played this briefly during a free weekend on Steam early in the year. I bought the game much later in the year when it was on sale as I feel determined to try to enjoy this type of simulation game for some reason.
  15. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (Android with Samsung Gear VR): Ah, 2016– the year of virtual reality! I got a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ phone early in the year and then learned about the Samsung Gear VR. So I took the $100 plunge for the headgear. I quickly realized that VR isn’t for me. However, this is one highlight of all the VR stuff I have tried.
  16. Shiftlings: Fun action-puzzler game that I played briefly and would like to get back to sometime.
  17. Dungelot (Android): I installed my favorite time-waster game on my new Android phone. I can’t let myself play it too much since a single session of this rogue-like can stretch over hours.
  18. Crystal Defenders (Android): This was my second tower defense game after Plants vs. Zombies and I still enjoy it.
  19. Transformers: Devastation: I was excited by the look of this game for the same reason I was enthused for Robotech: Battlecry back in 2002: the game’s art style looks exactly like the source cartoon I grew up with. Regrettably, the game play just didn’t grab me.
  20. Sky Force Anniversary: I really enjoy this modernized shmup and the soundtrack is especially exceptional. Like Ultra Street Fighter IV, I have played it many times, but never too long in one sitting.
  21. Hard Reset: This Steam code came with a new video card I bought this past year. This was a bit weird because, usually, such promo deals feature games that actually showcase the capability of the GPU. This FPS has bare minimum graphical requirements which basically amount to a card supporting the unified shading model. Anyway, the game itself is a cyberpunk-themed FPS. I tried really hard to get into it, but alas. It proved I’m no good at FPS games since I couldn’t even get past the 3rd or 4th “area” (depending on how areas are defined).
  22. Kingdom Rush: Another tower defense game I have sunk absurd hours into. I have yet to 100% it (one day!).
  23. Kingdom Rush Frontiers: I guess Steam assessed that I played the first game so much that I would appreciate a coupon for the sequel upon release. I didn’t even know the release was impending. But they calculated correctly because I exercised the coupon and went right to work on this game. I have 100%’d the game several times– because the creators keep releasing new updates. It’s all good.
  24. Castle of Illusion: I caught this upgraded Mickey Mouse game from the Genesis era on Steam sale and it’s a delightful little action game. It also vanished from Steam almost immediately after I bought it, but I still get to keep my copy.
  25. Star Wars: Republic Commando (Xbox): I was just testing that the Xbox still works. I’m no good at FPS games and this game only reinforced that fact.
  26. Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects (Xbox): This accidentally came with my most recent Xbox console purchase. It’s a 1v1 fighting game that provided a lot of entertainment among my group. It has good old Marvel mainstays like Spider-Man and Daredevil, but it also has a series of “Imperfects”– superpowered beings for which EA apparently owns the exclusive IP rights. So don’t look for them anywhere else.
  27. Project Gotham Racing (Xbox): Racing game. Didn’t make an impact.
  28. Sega GT 2002 (Xbox): Another racing game. Again, no impact.
  29. Robotech Invasion (Xbox): I’ve been wanting to try this game for a long time thanks to being a fan of Robotech from back in the day. I was disappointed to find a rather unremarkable FPS.
  30. Street Fighter Anniversary (Xbox): We were having so much fun with the Rise of the Imperfects that I obtained this collection which includes SF2 and SF3.
  31. Hydro Thunder (Xbox/Midway Treasures 3): Fun arcade-emulated racing game on the Xbox.
  32. S.T.U.N. Runner (Xbox/Midway Treasures 3): I loved this game in the arcade. However, they completely messed up this release. The emulated version of this game runs entirely too quickly. I don’t know how they overlooked this.
  33. Girls Like Robots: Nice little puzzle game.
  34. Not The Robots: Very odd little game which feeds into a gamer’s obsession for collecting stuff.
  35. Rush 2049 (Xbox/Midway Treasures 3): Another game off this racing arcade game collection (there are 8 total on the disc).
  36. Stolen (Xbox): Stealth action game from 2005. I would like to get back to this game in the future.
  37. Test Drive (Xbox): Another racing game. No impact again.
  38. Revenge of the Titans: I love tower defense games and I saw this one come up on Steam sale. I found this TD game rather lacking and I see that many of the Steam reviews agree with this assessment and are able to elucidate on exactly why. However, it came in a bundle with 3 more games (called the Ultrabundle) from the same developer…
  39. Titan Attacks!: Bundled along with Revenge of the Titans, this is a fairly brazen Space Invaders clone… but darned if I didn’t play it nearly 10 hours while collecting most of the achievements. I’ve never enjoyed a Space Invaders variant so much and this made up for the Revenge of the Titans disappointment.
  40. Droid Assault: Part of the Ultrabundle, this is sort of an overhead adventure/exploration game. I didn’t get into it.
  41. Ultratron: Part of the Ultrabundle, it’s a Robotron 2084 clone.
  42. Supercharged Robot Vulkaiser: Action game with a charming aesthetic of pretending to be a 1970s Japanese Anime translated to English. Steam says I played in 8 minutes but it felt like longer. I guess I’m saying I didn’t get into it.
  43. Mortal Kombat Armageddon (Xbox): Fighting games were the order of the day at gatherings, so I procured this title that has 60+ fighters. It just doesn’t get boring.
  44. Zombo Buster Rising: An odd little tower defense. It’s not without its charm.
  45. McDroid: Another tower defense game. Nice cel-shaded art style but I couldn’t get past the first level.
  46. Dungeon Warfare: Here we go! This tower defense grabbed me in a major way and I have sunk nearly 60 hours into it, grabbing most of the achievements. Such a simple art style, but so much fun.
  47. Lara Croft GO: I always wanted to try this isometric puzzle game on mobile but now I can play it on Steam.
  48. Syder Arcade: This is another action standby that I like to play for a few minutes in a session. But I can’t sustain the shmup action for very long.
  49. Shovel Knight: Still trying to work through this beautiful retro-style darling.
  50. Ball of Wonder: A Breakout/Arkanoid clone and it’s hard to go wrong with that.
  51. Alien Robot Machines: Yet another tower defense game. I’m enjoying this quite a bit, but it has its flaws (namely, the upgrade tree is difficult to manage).
  52. Super Win The Game: This is amazing. The apes the style of classic NES games, drawing the most influence (in my perception) from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. The CRT filter that the game uses is nothing short of remarkable.
  53. Creeper World III: Arc Eternal: My final tower defense game of the year. I haven’t gotten too far into it, but it seems like an interesting twist on the concept.

All right. So I guess a good gaming resolution for 2017 would be to branch out a bit from the tower defense genre (8 out of my top 10 most-played games on Steam fall under TD in some manner).